You need to be aware of the top travel tips for beginners and experts, regardless of whether you are a novice or an expert.
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Our team of industry experts and writers travels around the globe in search of new trends and information. We also enjoy a little relaxation and rest while on vacation. We’ve shared many valuable travel tips over the years.
These tips can be helpful for people who are new to cruising and international business-class flight. Some are for seasoned travelers.
Beginner travel tips
TPG strives to offer expert advice on how you can maximize your miles and use hidden tips to make the most of your travel planning. Our goal is to give new travelers a general idea of what to expect, so that they are prepared for whatever may happen.
These are key lessons for less-experienced travelers:
- Keep both hard and digital copies of important documents. TPG editor Kristy tolley suggests that you keep the hard copy separate from your passport so you don’t lose it. She says, “I also keep a copy at home if travelling alone.”
- Double-check your passport for any signs of a possible expiration. To be allowed entry to certain countries, you will need six months’ validity on your passport. You should check the dates well in advance and allow enough time to renew your passport (if necessary). There have been delays in passport renewals.
- Even if your credit card offers travel protections, you should still purchase travel insurance. This insurance is for you to be covered regardless of what kind of situation you might find yourself in.
- Tanner Saunders, senior writer at TPG, advises that if you are going to check your bag, be sure to bring extra medicine and supplies in case your luggage is lost or delayed. “As a diabetic I keep a small emergency kit in my bag with enough supplies to last me through an emergency.”
- Ryan Smith, TPG credit card writer, suggests that baggage should be kept as simple as possible. This will save you the trouble of digging through your bag or partially unpacking it to find what you need.
- Becca Manheimer, TPG’s senior director of marketing & communications, suggests that you pack Apple AirTags (or an Android equivalent) in your luggage to track any lost items.
- Becca suggests that you use Google Flights, or another favorite flight search engine, to control price fluctuations. She suggests that you always turn on notifications for these engines to jump on price drops or good deals — they are quick.”
- Even if the flight is more expensive, you should opt for a nonstop flight over one that has connections. This will eliminate the possibility of missing connections, and reduce the likelihood of losing your luggage while you transfer.
- TPG’s principal cruise writer Gene Sloan recommends that novice cruisers arrive in port at least one day before departure to avoid missing the ship’s departure time. This will help you adjust to the local time zone.
Expert travel tips
Are you a seasoned traveler who has mastered the basics? Do you want to make your vacations more enjoyable by being an expert traveller. These expert-approved travel hacks are from TPG:
- An annual policy for travel insurance is a better option than buying one on a trip-by – especially for those who travel frequently abroad. Ryan Smith, TPG’s director of international insurance, says that he buys an annual policy for the cost savings and the ability to cover multiple trips. An annual policy is simpler than trying to manage multiple policies or different credit card coverage terms.
- Taylor Jenkins, senior director of audience development at TPG, says that just because something is less than 4.5 stars on Google or Yelp or Trip Advisor doesn’t mean it should be avoided. You may have different criteria about what constitutes a 5-star experience. Therefore, it is important to read reviews and consider the opinions of others. To get insider information that reviews-based sites do not provide, you may want to consult a travel agent.
- Take paper maps along on road trips to remote destinations. You can also download offline Google maps, as Taylor recommends. You can always navigate to your destination using a paper map, or an offline version.
- Erica’s favorite cruise tip is to bring along magnetic hooks or hangers for extra storage. Magnetic hooks and hangers are great for storing items in cabins, as cruise ship walls can be magnetic. She says, “It’s an entertaining way to amaze your first cruise companions.”
- You don’t know everything about redeeming miles for flights. There are always new tips and tricks to help you turn those earnings into your dream vacations. TPG can provide guidance on redemptions on domestic flights, and ExpertFlyer (a Red Ventures property like TPG), to help you find even more redemption deals and steals.
Safety tips for traveling
Many travellers are concerned about safety. There are many possible scenarios when you travel, including being robbed on the road or experiencing severe weather or natural disasters. These risks can be avoided or minimized.
Here are some suggestions:
- For additional context, pay attention to the travel advice for a destination that you are considering visiting.
- To keep your valuables safe in your hotel room, you can use the hotel’s travel safe. Becky Blaine, TPG newsletter editor, shares that she always keeps one credit card in her hotel safe in case they are lost or stolen. Be sure to empty the safe when you leave the hotel. Becky suggests that you leave a spare item, such as one shoe, in your safe as a backup hint.
- Keep in touch with your family and friends throughout your trip by letting them know about your itinerary. You can always contact someone if something goes wrong.
- Ryan Smith, TPG’s Ryan Smith says that if you arrive at night, you should contact your hotel to inquire about the best way to travel to the destination. He also recommends asking about safe and cheap transport options. This will prevent you from being stuck in unsafe situations such as being locked out or delayed by your flight. His wife was forced to do this once, when she arrived late and was denied entry to a hostel.
- You should be strategic when checking into a hotel. Kristy Tolley, TPG’s Kristy Tolley, says that when I travel alone, she always requests two keycards to make people believe she’s traveling with someone. To prevent others from trying to steal her credit card, she also placed a towel on top of the security swing bar in her bedroom’s door.
Tips for holiday travel
Holiday travel can be a difficult time for travelers. The holidays are expensive, the availability of hotels and tours is limited, and people are racing to be home in order to see their loved ones.
There are some things that you can do to make your holiday travel easier and more affordable. These are just a few:
- When it comes to holiday airfare, flexibility is key. You can save hundreds of dollars by changing your departure or arrival date for just one day. You can save hundreds of dollars on airfare by booking your holiday travel on Christmas and Easter holidays if you are willing to make some changes in your family’s plans.
- Wrapped gift items should not be carried onboard or checked in baggage. The security personnel may inspect your gifts and may ask you to return them to you. You might consider shipping the gifts to your destination in advance, since the shipping fee may be less than any additional luggage fees.
- Avoid peak travel times by booking airport parking in advance. Airport parking spaces can fill up quickly around holidays so it is a good idea to reserve your spot in advance.
- To keep track of flight delays, download the airline’s app for mobile. In case of an emergency, you should have backup plans.
- For a short escape from the chaos of travel, seek out the quiet areas of your airport if you are stuck there for extended periods of time during holidays or any other time of year.